Who Cares, It Doesn't Matter Anyways

Wow, that sounds like giving up, doesn't it?  But I am here to tell you that this is not only not about giving up, but it's one of the most powerful things you can say to yourself to get past anxiety and feelings of inadequacy, the two things that can stop you from living a full and productive life.  The trick is not to give up and say "who cares, it doesn't matter anyways" and walk away.  The trick so to say that, and stay.  

Here's what I mean: when the going gets tough or when it gets awkward or scary, and fear is stopping you in your tracks, I want you to pause for a second.  Now, know that I mean when doing something important and good, and not something bad.  Because the bad always matters, if not to you, then to someone.  When you're about to do something negative that could hurt someone, it will always have repercussions and consequences for both you and for the person or people you're hurting.  So this rule DOES NOT apply to that.  The rule for bad things is "this matters and I should not do it".  But when we're talking about getting help or changing your life or choosing something different or just reaching out to someone, like asking them out on a date or informing them about something, then that's when you'd apply this rule.  

So, I want you to pause, and think about the massive amount of fear you're feeling and say "Who cares?  In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't actually matter.  Why would I care if I am judged for it?"  Take today, for instance.  I read a woman's comment on YouTube who said she was convinced that she was raped as a child, but cannot remember it and is terrified of getting a counselor for fear of judgement and wronging "real rape victims".  My answer to that is "Who cares if someone thinks that?  In the grand scheme of things, who are you hurting by seeking help?  And if your therapist judges you, then who cares?  Find a new therapist until you find one that listens to you."  Because in all honesty, who really fucking cares if some jerk is going to judge you for who you are or what you think happened to you?  I know, I know, we all care.  I know that we all fear being judged.  But have we ever asked ourselves why?  Why do we care so much?  Deep down, what does their idea about us say about us?  Does it reinforce that we are (insert negative word we were taught to feel about ourselves here)?  Because we aren't that thing.  We never were.  We were taught from life experience that we were less than, or that we're inherently bad, or that we don't deserve love or respect.  But none of that is true.  We have to remember that we were taught that from a person who feels that way about themselves.  They thought that by sharing that horrible feeling with us that somehow it would alleviate the feeling inside of themselves (newsflash, it never works).  That's it.  

The way to get past our triggers is to stop caring what the world thinks of us.  Say "Who cares?  In the grand scheme of my life, will I remember this moment?  Will it even matter?"  No?  Then do it.  Make the choice.  Ask the person out.  Ask for a raise.  Confront someone who wronged you instead of keeping quiet.  Take the new job.  Make that call.  Send that letter.  Just do it!  Use Mel Robbins' "5 Second Rule" and count to five and JUST DO IT!  

Last year I contacted all my sexual abusers and my rapist's families to tell on on them.  2021 was my fucking year to "just do it".  I pissed off a LOT of people.  They didn't take kindly to my words.  And while it may have disrupted their families, and I am sorry for that, they needed to know what their family member did and are better off in the long run.  I hemmed and I hawed and I fretted.  I was scared to death to write those letters.  But then I thought of the day that earth gets sucked into the sun's orbit and humanity is either gone or living elsewhere, or 200 years in the future when everyone involved in this situation is gone and forgotten.  I asked myself  "Will it have mattered that I did this?"  And the answer is obviously no.  But will it matter today if I do it?  And the answer was that it will matter to me.  These people, all of them, did something wrong.  So exposing them isn't my problem, it's theirs.  They did this, not me.  So, it's fair that people know about it.  I exposed my rapist in a public forum, as well as contacted his ex wife, who he also abused.  I wrote to a priest's niece who inappropriately touched me at a Thanksgiving dinner with our families present (the priest did it, not the niece).  I wrote to the man who I used to babysit for who touched me inappropriately when I worked for him as a young teen, but then found out he was dead.  So I wrote to his daughters instead (the girls I used to babysit for).  I didn't just want to write for me.  I wanted others to know about their actions so they know if it happened to them, too, that they aren't alone.  It may make them angry, but it wasn't a selfish action.  If nobody knows that certain people are molesters or rapists, then they'll never be stopped.  And it's my job, as a survivor of these things, to help that happen.

Fear almost stopped me from writing to these people (two online, one in a Christmas card).  Like, a crippling fear.  But then I tapped into that "healthy apathetic" part of my personality, the one I created for myself, on purpose, and just did it anyways.  Because who cares?  What is the worst they can do than what they already did to me?  Not much.

That's what I call this: "healthy apathy".  And if you've read about my other posts on IFS, then you'll know that we all have all these different personalities inside of us that we can tap into when we need to (though they are all aspects of our own central personality).  Many of our "personalities" are remnants of abuse from our childhood.  Like the anxious one, the depressed one, the this one or that one, etc.  But you can also create them, too.  You can tap into the healthy personalities when you need to in order to get things done in your life, no matter how we act normally.  You can use an example, such as a hero or someone you admire, as your basis.  Or just make it up.  I am terrified of standing up for myself.  But, since creating this "healthy apathetic" part of my personality, the one who says "Who cares?  It doesn't actually matter anyways", that rebel teenager who cuts past all that built up fear to get shit done, I now stand up for myself all the time.  I just think about her and how she would react, and slide into her skin and say what I need to say in moments when I need to say it.  It doesn't sound easy, but once you shift your perspective, it becomes easier and easier to do.  

I am not saying you're changing who you are from moment to moment, like some sort of toxic person.  What I am saying is, that if it helps to feel like you're slipping into someone else for a moment in order to make a choice or stick up for yourself or whatever, then do it.  You're still you.  You're just tapping into something you didn't even realize was there: you're ability to stop caring what others thing and live your wonderful life.  

My fears have literally stopped me from doing much of anything in life.  Which led me to be walked on, used, and kept in a box, all the while with that healthy dose of crippling fear to keep me in that box.  But this technique is how I found my way out.  To say "Who cares?  What does it matter in the grand scheme of things?  On my deathbed, will this be a regret?  Or will I regret not doing the thing I want to do?  In the end, will what I have done cause me more pain, or will I be proud of myself?"  I have lived with big regrets when it comes to speaking up for myself and others.  And when the situation pops up again, as it always eventually does, I get triggered into keeping quiet all over again.  But this technique is allowing me to fix that.  "Healthy Apathy" is what I call it.  To say "who cares" in the face of fear, it's a huge step for me.  And I hope, if you decide to use it, it is for you, too.  

If you try this out, and it works for you (or doesn't work), let me know below.  And if you have a better technique, please share it below, too, as I am always interested in learning everything I can to help those of us with high ACE scores and varying amounts of trauma and CPTSD to move towards better future.  Good luck and hopefully, by using this technique, we can all stop caring so much what the world thinks of us, and instead, just get on with being awesome.  


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